Noble Damsel Recap
UNBRIDLED HUMOR WINS THE NOBLE DAMSEL
It wasn’t the trip her connections were hoping for, but it was the result the mattered most as Unbridled Humor became a graded stakes winner, taking Sunday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Noble Damsel by 1 3/4 lengths at Belmont Park.
European invader Thai Haku rallied to be second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Aquitaine. Aviate finished fourth.
The win was the fifth from six career starts for Unbridled Humor, a daughter of Distorted Humor owned and bred by Live Oak Plantation and trained by Graham Motion.
The result enabled Unbridled Humor to bounce back from a seventh-place finish as the favorite in the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga in July.
In that race, Unbridled Humor found herself setting the pace, a position Motion felt might have comprised her chances. Going into the Noble Damsel, Motion was hoping to be able to get Unbridled Humor covered up behind horses, but it did not quite work out that way.
Under Ramon Dominguez, Unbridled Humor stalked Twilight Memory from second, but ended up taking the lead after a half-mile was run in 46.51 seconds. Racing a bit headstrong, Unbridled Humor opened up a sizeable advantage turning for home and could not be caught.
Unbridled Humor covered the mile in 1:34.09 over a firm Widener Turf course and returned $3.60 as the favorite.
“Ideally, Graham would have liked to have seen her covered up but with the lack of speed in the field that was going to be difficult,’’ Dominguez said. “I just took a long hold. She was eager, but within reason. Turning for home she switched leads, and she picked it up pretty nicely.’’
Earlier on the card, In Step took over from Smartys Emperoress approaching the quarter pole and galloped home an easy 3 1/4-length winner of the $60,000 Queen Tutta Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
In Step, a $1 million daughter of Unbridled’s Song purchased by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stable as a yearling, ran seven furlongs in 1:21.34 over firm turf and returned $12.60. Jose Lezcano rode the winner for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
* Cornelio Velasquez rode four winners on Sunday’s card - Beautyinthepulpit ($11.20), Singn On Themoon ($8.90), Green Monster ($12.20), and Hoopskirt ($8).
by David Grening
On the New York worktab
Alabama S. (G1) heroine ROYAL DELTA (Empire Maker), who will face older distaffers for the first time in the Beldame S. (G1) on October 1, turned in a :59 1/5 five-furlong breeze over the fast main track at Belmont Park on Sunday.
"If you get (a workout) in between (races) you can put in a nice, strong work in them," said Leana Willaford, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. "We'll have one more before the Beldame."
Royal Delta's workout was the third quickest of 30 at the distance on Sunday.
"Anytime you'll be going into any of those big races, you want to have a good work in them," Willaford said. "Our M.O. is two works prior (to the race) we'll put a nice, strong work in them, and then more of an on-the-bridle work right before the race. For us, that seems to work. I know she went fast today, but she did it very easily. We'll probably come back and put a half-mile in her."
Undefeated champion AWESOME FEATHER (Awesome of Course) continued preparing for her return to competition when breezing five furlongs in 1:00 2/5.
Grade 1 hero GIROLAMO (A.P. Indy), last seen running third in the November 27 Cigar Mile H. (G1), worked five furlongs in 1:00 4/5.
Grade 1 veteran VINEYARD HAVEN (Lido Palace [Chi]), unplaced in the Cigar Mile when last seen in competition, sauntered five panels in 1:04 3/5.
Multiple Grade 2 speedster TAR HEEL MOM (Flatter), best of the rest behind the impressive Hilda's Passion (Canadian Frontier) in the Ballerina S. (G1), logged five furlongs in 1:01.
Tom Fool H. (G3) and Toboggan S. (G3) hero CALIBRACHOA (Southern Image), third in the recent Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. (G1), breezed four furlongs in :49.
Westchester S. (G3) winner CAIXA ELETRONICA (Arromanches), third in the Metropolitan H. (G1) earlier this season, went five-eighths in 1:01 2/5.
DENOMINATION (Smart Strike), queen of the Violet S. (G3) and Hillsborough S. (G3) thus far this year, turned four furlongs in :51 2/5.
Multiple Grade 3 scorer AILALEA (Pulpit), second in a deep third-level optional claimer at the Spa, clocked four furlongs in :49.
Grade 3-placed multiple stakes victress ROSE CATHERINE (Speightstown), third in the Caress S. two back, logged a half in :48 1/5.
New York Derby hero SOCIALSAUL (Read the Footnotes), second in an Albany S. upset, traveled five-eighths in 1:02.
Serena's Song S. winner MISS VALENTINE (Afleet Alex), second in the Monmouth Oaks (G3) last out, sped a bullet half-mile in :47.
DARK THUNDER (Trippi), undefeated this season in four starts including the Island Whirl S. most recently, posted four panels in :49.
Jefferson Cup (G3) second BENERGY (Tapit), unplaced in his last two against graded rivals, covered a half in :49.
Grade 3-placed NEWSDAD (Arch), sixth in the Secretariat S. (G1), strolled through five panels in 1:04.
Multiple Grade 1 veteran WINCHESTER (Theatrical [Ire]) breezed five furlongs in 1:03 2/5 on Belmont's firm inner turf in company with Sussex S. scorer MR. RYDER (Giant's Causeway), who was credited with the same time. Last-out winner of the Sword Dancer Invitational (G1), Winchester is readying for a title defense run in the October 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1).
"It was a nice work, just a maintenance work," trainer Christophe Clement said.
Dual Grade 1 star GET STORMY (Stormy Atlantic) negotiated five-eighths in 1:02 in advance of the October 8 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1). The Tom Bush charge is coming off a second as the defending champion in the Bernard Baruch H. (G2), where he was struck by a rival and sustained a cut on his leg.
Stakes scorer and Man o' War S. (G1) third BOISTEROUS (Distorted Humor) logged four grassy furlongs in :49.
RESCUE SQUAD (Dynaformer), unraced since a second in the 2010 Red Smith H. (G2), got the same time.
Gallorette H. (G3) second DESERT SAGE (GB) (Selkirk) toured five furlongs on the grass in 1:02 2/5.
Multiple Grade 3-placed YIELD BOGEY (Langfuhr) traveled four panels in :49 3/5 on the sod.
Easy maiden debut winner TANGLEWOOD TALE (Tale of the Cat) clocked a half on the green in :49 3/5.
Miss Royal S. winner ROMAN TREASURE (Roman Ruler), third in the Test S. (G1) and Victory Ride S. (G3) in her past two, covered a half-mile in :49 on the fast dirt training track at Belmont.
Multiple Grade 1-placed stakes veteran DRIVEN BY SUCCESS (Precise End), exiting a score in the Easy N Dirty S., exercised four furlongs in :49 4/5.
Tom Fool runner-up FASTUS CACTUS (Cactus Ridge) took :48 4/5 for four panels.
Grade 3-placed dual stakes victress HESSONITE (Freud) turned three-quarters in 1:14.
Grade 1 scorer SIDNEY'S CANDY (Candy Ride [Arg]), unplaced in the Forego S. (G1) last out, posted four panels in :50 1/5 on Saratoga's fast Oklahoma training track.
Dwyer S. (G2) hero DOMINUS (Smart Strike), fourth in the King's Bishop S. (G1), clocked a bullet five-eighths in 1:02.
Recent Monmouth Oaks vixen SAVVY SUPREME (Distorted Humor), a full sister to multiple Grade 1 star Commentator, logged a half in :51.
Undefeated Adirondack S. (G2) winner MY MISS AURELIA (Smart Strike) toured five panels in 1:02 1/5.
Schuylerville S. (G3) victress GEORGIE'S ANGEL (Bellamy Road), fourth in the Spinaway S. (G1) last out, negotiated a half-mile in :52 3/5.
Multiple Grade 3 hero RULE (Roman Ruler), third in the Woodward S. (G1), breezed four furlongs in :49.
Sham S. (G3) romper TAPIZAR (Tapit), sidelined since checking in fifth as the 1-5 favorite in the February 12 Robert B. Lewis S. (G2), logged five furlongs in 1:02 4/5.
Multiple Grade 3 queen EMBUR'S SONG (Unbridled's Song), who had a four-race win streak broken when second in the Seaway S. (Can-G3) most recently, sauntered a half in :52 2/5.
Multiple Grade 3-placed CHIPSHOT (Peace Rules), who broke through with his first stakes coup in the Select S. two back, turned five furlongs in 1:02 4/5.
LOVE AND PRIDE (A.P. Indy), Bernardini's close relative who rolled in her stakes debut in the Proud Spell S., recorded the co-bullet half in :48.
Grade 2-placed sophomore CAL NATION (Distorted Humor), runner-up in the Select S., got the same bullet time.
Prince of Wales S. near-misser BOWMAN'S CAUSEWAY (Giant's Causeway), seventh in the Travers S. (G1), strode four furlongs in :51.
Smashing maiden winner STOPSHOPPINGMARIA (More Than Ready) breezed five furlongs in 1:02 4/5 in preparation for her stakes debut in the October 8 Frizette S. (G1).
On the firm Oklahoma training turf, multiple Grade/Group 1 winner STACELITA (Fr) (Monsun) drilled five panels in :59 for trainer Chad Brown. A last-out heroine of the Beverly D. S. (G1), the five-year-old mare is headed to the October 1 Flower Bowl Invitational (G1).
Carter H. (G1) runner-up APRIORITY (Grand Slam), second by a nose in the Churchill Downs S. (G2) and fourth in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt in his past two, breezed a bullet half-mile in :48 on Aqueduct's fast dirt.
Multiple Grade 3-placed SCHOOLYARD DREAMS (Stephen Got Even), runner-up against optional claiming rivals last out, traveled four furlongs in :52 2/5.
C C'S PAL (Alex's Pal), unplaced twice since taking the Monmouth Beach S., finished up five panels in 1:02 3/5.
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